Dr. Dan Root, M.D. Profile
Our founder, Dr. Dan Root, is a Board Certified Sleep Physician with decades of expertise diagnosing and treating sleep disorders. A graduate of the Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Root started his residency in 1991 at Portland’s Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and completed his Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine. Once in practice, his attention soon gravitated toward sleep medicine, leading him to found Oregon Sleep Associates – a fully-accredited Sleep Center serving Portland and it’s surrounding communities.
During his early years as a physician, Dr. Root practiced Pulmonary and Critical Care medicine – caring for a patient population hospitalized by lung disease and other critical illnesses. Dr. Root’s experience serving these critical care patients influenced his growing interest in sleep medicine – a relatively new and specialized discipline with roots in pulmonary medicine.
“Once I got into clinical practice, I noticed my sleep patients recovered and did much better overall than my pulmonary or critical care patients,” says Dr. Root. “Back then there used to be a lot of mystery around sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, but once we started to identify and treat these disorders, there were marked improvements in the patient’s quality of life and longevity. For many of these patients, treatment of the sleep disorder helped decrease their health problems overall.”Having witnessed firsthand how the treatment of sleep disorders positively affected his patients’ health, Dr. Root focused on ways to improve the access of sleep medicine to the community at large.
“First, I stopped doing Pulmonary and Critical Care, so I could focus on Sleep and develop a patient care model that was faster and more cost-effective,” explains Dr. Root. “At the time, I felt Sleep Medicine was not being done particularly well because it was mostly done in hospital systems. In the hospital setting, it took a long time to get anybody evaluated for sleep disorders, and the focus seemed to be more on testing than actually treating patients. In 2005 I opened my own sleep center, Oregon Sleep Associates, and developed a care model that has continued to be faster, more cost effective and patient-centered than larger systems of care like a hospital.”Dr. Root and his staff diagnose and treat a number of sleep disorders at Oregon Sleep Associates, but the most prevalent condition affecting patients is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). An estimated 10–25% of the adult population suffer from OSA, with the majority of these patients going undiagnosed and untreated. Fortunately, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy offers a safe and reliably effective treatment for OSA. Thanks to the growing popularity of sleep clinics like Oregon Sleep Associates, along with technological advancements in sleep medicine, the process of diagnosing and treating sleep apnea has never been easier or more effective.
Increasing awareness of sleep disorders and improving patient access to effective treatment options was the impetus for Dr. Root’s foundation of Sleep Direct. As an online retailer, Sleep Direct gives patients access to the latest CPAP machines, masks and equipment at affordable prices, often heavily discounted from the suggested retail price. Sleep Direct is an extension of Dr. Root’s larger ambition to help patients understand and better treat their sleep problems, without the barriers of insurance or high equipment costs impeding access to care.
“I realized long ago that sleep medicine can teach people how to take better care of themselves,” says Dr. Root. “I enjoy educating people, demystifying sleep disorders and encouraging patients to try treatment alternatives. CPAP continues to be the safest and more predictably effective therapy for Sleep Apnea. While there is some time and money involved in the process of diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, it can change your life in a very positive fashion. In fact, patients routinely tell me how sleep apnea therapy has improved their life. This positive feedback inspires my continued practice of sleep medicine, as well as my desire to improve patient access to cost-effective treatment options through Sleep Direct. It’s my hope that Sleep Direct can educate and offer real-world solutions to people struggling with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.”